Future of Work News

Retail Winners Favor Employee Management Tools


The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated changes in retail habits, more specifically the empowerment of the workforce. Stores that revamped their management approach by allowing for more flexible scheduling, increasing training and pay and investing in digital tools to assist customers outperformed their competition.

WorkForce Software published the results of a global retail workforce management study with Retail Systems Research and revealed that retail "winners" have a more favorable view of employee management tools. Tools include employee performance dashboards, task management, KPIs and alerts and onboarding systems. About two-thirds of global retailer respondents are trusting frontline workers with mobile technology while working.

Frontline deskless workers with access to modern workforce management technology leveraging mobile devices freed up their managers' time. This allowed employees to have real-time access to smart business communications, KPIs, sales trends and goals so they can have an immediate impact to the daily business on the sales floor servicing customers. 

Retailers with workforce management technology can lean into the unprecedented changes in the retail industry and equip their workforce to meet fluctuating customer demands.

Mobile automated time and attendance capability is the number one use of mobile technology for the deskless workforce of top retailers, with 76% of retail winners placing a high value on it. Over-performers placed a higher value on technology that is aimed at employee empowerment — 90% of the larger retailers assigned high value to employee communication portals.

The research, “Has the Era of the Empowered Workforce Finally Arrived?,” also revealed that mobile technology pervasiveness created opportunities for retailers. Smart team communications encourage teamwork and provide just-in-time information to global or local staff members.

  • 67% of retail winners placed a high value on peer-peer messaging and collaboration.
  • 61% touted mobile for employee "micro" trainings happening in-the-moment they are needed on the salesfloor.
  •  61% of retail winners see the value in mobile “in context” smart communications being embedded into workflows and communicated through mobile devices directly to frontline retail workers.

"Learn from the insights of retail 'winners' in this research report, invest in your frontline deskless workforce, who are the most important asset in your business, said Sandra Moran, chief marketing officer of WorkForce Software. “This research demonstrates there are clear performance variations between winners who leverage WFM technologies and improve their employees' experience, and those that have not."

Retailers that do not empower their deskless workforce with critical and necessary mobile technology and smart communications risk being left behind with below-target sales figures and losses incurred from a lackluster customer experience.

Edited by Greg Tavarez

Future of Work Contributor

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